The morning started early – well before the sun rose. We wanted a quick, early ceremony and reception, so everyone could go home and take naps afterward. The day before we had loads of help from friends and family to get our venue set up, and that morning was no different. We had so many special, wonderful people pitching in to help make our wedding perfect.
It took place at the gorgeous Cheyenne Cañon Inn, tucked away in one of the most beautiful parts of Colorado Springs. The venue was the first and only that we looked at. When first planning our budget, we had figured we could only afford a sterile hotel ballroom. Our photographer, Lindsay Arlene of Redwood + Sage, recommended during our first meeting that we check out the renovated Victorian mansion that now served as a long-term B&B and part-time event venue. We walked into the charming environment and never bothered to look anywhere else. It was beyond our wildest dreams, and Jeannie, our host, was beyond accommodating every step of the way.
By 8 AM, Adam and I went up the hill to do our First Look at Helen Hunt Falls. Back at the Cheyenne Cañon Inn, bridesmaids and groomsmen were still getting ready upstairs and guests were arriving for our little brunch happy hour. Deidre, Mandi’s sister-in-law, was entertaining guests with a medley of Disney songs played on a grand piano. Before we knew it, it was time to walk down the aisle to Deidre playing, “Now I See the Light.”
The ceremony was officiated by our dear friend, Dori, who wrote a wonderful, personal, touching, funny, special speech for us. It was so amazing having someone who knew us so well stand up to marry us. It meant so much more that these words were coming from someone we loved, and who loved us as well.
One very special moment was during our knot-tying ceremony. We played the below video while Dori quietly performed the Blessing of the Hands. When we were done, Mandi’s Uncle Kim stopped the proceedings to make sure everyone gave the video a round of applause. It was such a sweet, impromptu moment that made everything that little extra bit of special.
Adam and I did our vows a little differently than other couples. We wrote a set of vows to repeat, and then we wrote personal statements about our relationship to read to each other. This allowed us to be able to say everything we wanted to say to each other, without them having to be phrased as “vows.” Our personal statements were full of sweet anecdotes and experiences. Our vows were also very personal and full of our hopes for our future.
Today, surrounded by people who love us, I choose you.
To stand by your side and sleep in your arms.
To be joy to your heart and food for your soul.
To learn with you and grow with you, even as time and life may change us both.
I promise to laugh with you in good times and bear with you whatever trouble and sorrow life may lay upon us.
I marry you with no hesitation or doubt, and my commitment to you is absolute.
I promise to respect you and cherish you as an individual, a partner, and an equal knowing that we do not complete, but complement each other.
May we have many adventures and grow old together.
With these words, and all the words of my heart, I marry you and bind my life to yours.
After we kissed, Adam and I danced right there to our song, Smile by Uncle Kracker while a video montage of our family and friends played next to us. Neither of us are great dancers and my dress kept getting caught on the leaf runner we were dancing on, but it was still perfect… there’s that word again. It pops up a lot because there is no better word to describe our wedding day.
We had such a brilliant reception celebrating with our friends and family. There was the more typical stuff – food, dancing, and heartfelt speeches. There was also some Mandi and Adam flair – karaoke, a magician, and a caricature artist. Side note: If you have a caricature artist at your wedding, book two. Our artist was so popular with the guests, there was always a line and I know not everyone was able to get one who wanted it.
One of our favorite unique things was the donut cake our friend Cass made us. Since this was a brunch wedding, ending well before 2 PM, we hadn’t wanted the tradition cake. We ordered a bunch of Hurt’s Donuts and Cass constructed something totally unique and beautiful for us.
It’s a cliche to say, but it was a whirlwind. A fun, crazy, wonderful whirlwind. Before we knew it, it was time to change to head out for our farewell. We look back at this day with so much love and fondness. It was exactly what we had hoped and envisioned. We are so blessed to have had such a wonderful celebration of our union.
We ran out of the venue with “When You Wish Upon a Star” playing loudly as confetti was thrown all around us. It was the best exit.
But about that confetti… Beautiful pictures. Terrible clean-up. I still apologize profusely to my brother and uncle who had to clean it up. Oops…